Back in the Game? Or maybe just testing the waters?

So I’ve booked flights, a rental car and registered to compete at the Outdoor Retailer Summer Show in Salt Lake City. The competition is one of the biggest and most important competitions of the year.

Put on by the amazing people at NE2C and part of the The Unified Bouldering Championships Pro Tour. Most of the country’s top climbing athletes (and some international stars) will be there to compete and the entire climbing industry will be there to watch the action. The competition will be broadcast LIVE here on August 3rd for your viewing pleasure. Be sure to tune in and watch. I’m sure it will be a good show.

I am excited to compete. While I’ve been actively climbing and sending outdoors the last couple years, I have not competed in a professional level bouldering competition in a long time (since 2007?) due to injuries, being out of shape, and being super busy with school. I have been trying to climb a lot lately (both routes and bouldering) and I feel like I am finally starting to get my edge back a little bit. So I am excited to see how I will measure up to today’s standards for professional competition. I watched the live broadcast for the Battle in the Bubble competition and it kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time. The excitement made me remember how much I enjoy competitions and how much I wished I could have been there to compete. Watching Angie Payne climb in the ‘Battle’ was what really motivated me to start thinking about doing the OR Show competition. Angie and myself (as well as a couple other “older” climbers) are from the old PCA days. The PCA (professional climbing association) is the organization that spawned the idea of pro climbing tours in the US. They are what started it all and we were there from the beginning. I was even there at the 2001 event at the old Front if anyone can remember that! We’ve competed together at many events and seeing Angie back in action really made me want to try competing again. Hopefully I have been doing enough bouldering indoors to make it into finals this year. The ultimate torture is watching your friends try really fun looking problems on sick walls in front of a high energy crowd and not being able to participate.

photo by Tim Kemple

It will also be my first OR Show since 2007 and I’m really excited to see friends from all over the country and the world that I haven’t seen in ages, catch up with my sponsors (Five Ten, Revolution, PrAna, Smith), meet some industry people that I’ve exchanged dozens of emails with but have never met in person, meet new people, and its always fun to walk around and see all the latest new products are coming out from all the climbing companies.

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